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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

July 2nd, 2015 @ 12:10 am
Posted by Bridget under Blog Tour Tags: Blog Tour, Jessica Day George, Paranormal, Silver in the Blood, Young Adult

Jessica Day GeorgeWe are hosting a wonderful giveaway today for Jessica Day George’s Silver in the Blood! This is a YA paranormal book that I loved!!! It has been one of my favorite reads of the entire year! To read my full raving review of this amazing book check out the post below or click HERE! Silver in the Blood will release on July 7, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens.

This giveaway is provided by Jessica Day George, Bloomsbury Children, and Rockstar Book Tours! Two lucky winners will receive finished copies of Silver in the Blood!

About Jessica:

Jessica Day George earned a BA in Humanities/Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University, where she enjoyed classes in Pottery and Old Norse, and dutifully forced herself to take Algebra and Biology. Originally from Idaho, she now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three young children.

You can visit Jessica around the web here: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Jessica Day George?

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Silver in the Blood Blog Tour

Tour Schedule

Week One:

6/29/2015- Reading Lark Interview

6/30/2015- Katie’s Book Blog– Review

7/1/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Guest Post

7/2/2015- Dark Faerie Tales– Review

7/3/2015- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview

Week Two:

7/6/2015- Frannie in the Pages– Review

7/7/2015- Once Upon a Twilight– Guest Post

7/8/2015- Alice Marvels– Review

7/9/2015- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

7/10/2015- Bookhounds YA– Review

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contest

This giveaway is provided by Jessica Day George, Bloomsbury Children & Rockstar Book Tours!

Two winners will receive a finished copy of Silver in the Blood!
(US only)

Silver in the Blood

Available July 7, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

About this Book:

A New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Early Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

July 1st, 2015 @ 11:59 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: Jessica Day George, Paranormal, Review, Silver in the Blood, Silver in the Blood Series, Young Adult

Silver in the BloodTitle: Silver in the Blood

Author: Jessica Day George

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Silver in the Blood (Book #1)

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1619634317 (Bloomsbury Children)

ISBN-13: 978-1619634312 (Bloomsbury Children)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

A New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.

Quick & Dirty: Action packed story filled with adorable romance, loveable characters, and great humor. I enjoyed every minute of this story and would highly recommend it to all young adult fans!

Opening Sentence: Dacia picked up her book and put it down again.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Cousins Dacia and Louisa grew up in the wonderful city of New York. It is the year 1897 and both of these girls dominate the social scene in New York. Both girls have just recently turned seventeen and they can’t wait to tour the beautiful country of Europe where there is sure to be handsome gentlemen, wonderful shopping, and enchanting parties.  But instead of going on a dream vacation like they planned they are sent to Romania, the country where both of their mothers were born and raised. This is their first time visiting their ancestral home and they have only met a few of their relatives from their mother’s side of the family.

Upon arriving in Bucharest both of the girls learn that their family is very different. It turns out that their family has the ability to shapeshift into one of three creatures. Some are members of The Claw and have the ability to change into a wolf, others are of The Wing and can change into bats, and finally there is The Smoke where they can basically change into a form of smoke. There is a prophecy that states Dacia and Louisa will lead their family to greatness, but to do so they must commit the most horrendous of crimes. Will they have the courage to defy their destiny or will the temptation of power and acceptance tempt them into doing what their family wants?

Dacia is a very spirited girl that doesn’t have a care in the world. She is blunt, witty, and loves a good adventure. I instantly loved Dacia and found her to be a very entertaining character. She has no problem using her charms to get what she wants and she is very good at everything she sets her mind. She is a terrible flirt, but she is also a very loyal friend. Her fiery attitude was so much fun and she added a lot of great humor to the story. There was one moment in the book where I found her to be a little frustrating but it was very short lived and I quickly fell back in love with her! She is a great heroine and I really look forward to seeing where her story goes next.

Lou is a much more reserved person. She has what they call a tender disposition and she has always felt a little awkward in her own skin. Everyone tells her what a beautiful girl she is, but that’s not how she sees herself. She is the perfectly obedient daughter that does what she is told. What I have described probably sounds pretty boring compared to Dacia, but I actually ended up liking Lou even better than I did Dacia. There is something about her tender personality that just pulled at my heart strings and as the story unfolds she grows so much. She discovers so much about herself and in the end she becomes a much bolder person. She doesn’t shy away from a fight and she is very resourceful. I felt an instant connection with her and it just continued to grow throughout the story.

There is a fairly large cast of secondary characters and I found each one of them so interesting. I loved learning all their stories and to be honest I can’t wait to learn more. I especially want to find out more about the girls mothers and aunts. I actually would love it if George wrote a sequel telling us how the 3 sisters ended up in America and their whole journey. I doubt she is going to write this but I personally would love to read it if she ever does. Then of course I loved the boys in the book as well. I’m not going to go into any detail about them because I don’t want to spoil anything. But I can tell you that they are very swoon worthy and I loved both of them! The romance was pretty subtle, but I felt that it was a great setup for the next book in the series which I am now dying to read!

Silver in the Blood is an amazing story that completely blew me away! I loved everything about this book, the rich atmosphere, the witty characters, the adorable romance, and the suspenseful plot made this an epic book that is easily the best book I have read this year so far. From the very first page I was hooked and I kept trying to find time throughout the day to read this because I just had to know what happened next. I ended up finishing it in just a day and now I wish I would have taken more time to read it because I am going to have a serious book hangover now. Jessica Day George is such an amazing storyteller and her writing is exceptional! I have read many of her other books and I have enjoyed every single one of them. This book was just pure fun and had everything I love in a great story. I found myself laughing many times throughout the story and there was also tons of great action. As you can tell by my review I can’t say enough good things about this book and I would highly recommend this to all young adult fans.

Notable Scene:

22 May 1897

Oook la-la! Whatever shall I do? There are far too many beautiful young men in the world, and I am just one girl. First there was Will Carver in New York, then Lord Johnny in London, and now I have just met the most delicious of them all. And it seems that he is a prince. Prince Mihai of Wallachia, if you please! It’s an old title, and one that (sadly) does not mean much anymore. Still. A prince! A prince with beautiful long lashes and thick curling hair. A prince who wears perfectly tailored suits and speaks seven languages, who likes to go to plays and concerts and read popular novels!

If anything, I would day that he is too perfect for words! Yes, yes, diary, I can hear Lou’s voice in my head right now asking me about Will Carver and Lord Johnny. Well, I’m sorry, but neither of them are here at present. Surely it can’t hurt to amuse myself a bit in Romania? When I return to New York, dear Lord Johnny will be but a memory, and Will Carver will be back from France, eager to dance with me once more. Until that day, however, Prince Mihai and his beautiful eyes are here to entertain me, That is, if Aunt Kate will let him!

Silver in the Blood Series:

1. Silver in the Blood

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FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury Children provided me with a copy of Silver in the Blood.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

July 1st, 2015 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: Contemporary, Katie McGarry, Nowhere But Here, Review, Thunder Road Series, Young Adult

Nowhere But HereTitle: Nowhere But Here

Author: Katie McGarry

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: Thunder Road Series (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373211422 (Harlequin Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0373211425 (Harlequin Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Quick & Dirty: Brilliantly written story that has sexy romance, amazing characters, and a meaningful message. I loved every minute of this book and would highly recommend it to everyone!

Opening Sentence: Top three awful moments of my life:

Meeting my biological father at ten

Breaking my arm in the three spots at nine

Falling into a hole and being trapped there overnight with a dead body at eight.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Emily is a happy seventeen year old girl that has a wonderful life. She has amazing parents, a beautiful home, and great friends.  She would be perfectly content with her life never changing much, but soon her oh so perfect life is about to get an interruption.  Her biological father Eli hasn’t ever really been a part of her life. He didn’t want to be a father when Emily’s mom found out she was pregnant and until just a few years ago Emily had never even met him. But Eli’s mother just passed away and to show their respects Emily travels with her family to the funeral. The visit turns into an extended stay and Emily finds herself spending her summer vacation in Snowflake Kentucky. She is surrounded by family she never knew existed and an extremely attractive boy that drives her nuts. As she learns about her family and her parents past she comes to realize that maybe her perfect life wasn’t as perfect as she thought.

Oz has wanted to be a member in the Reign of Terror motorcycle club ever since he can remember. The club has been his family and joining them is the next natural step. Oz plans to become a prospect as soon as he graduates from high school, but just before he has a chance to join he is given the task of watching out for Emily, the gorgeous sheltered daughter of one of the most respected members of the club. This could be his one chance at his dream or maybe getting to know Emily will make him realize that he has others dreams. He knows that falling for Emily is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas turn out to be something amazing!

Emily was a really interesting character that I grew to love. I will admit at first I found her to be a tad bit frustrating because of how naïve she was, but as the story progressed it made perfect since why she written the way she was. She grows tremendously throughout the story and as things unfold you learn to understand her so much better. She is a really sweet girl that has been thrown into an impossible situation, and I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards her. She has a hard time trusting people and she tends to shy away from change. So when she is forced to move to a new town with all new people I can see why it would be hard to open up to anyone, especially when everything is so different from what she is comfortable with. In time I learned to appreciate her courage and witty personality. She doesn’t take crap from others and I admired that she wasn’t afraid to express her opinion. Somewhere along the way I developed a strong connection with Emily, and by the end of the story I ended up really loving her character.

Oz is one of those dangerous boys that you can’t help but be attracted to. Not only is he gorgeous to look at he is also kind, charming, confidant, loyal, tough, and committed. He has spent his entire life wanting to be a part of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club and I loved that he was such a consistent character. His character does grow throughout the story but his core ideals never waver. He is really rough around the edges, but deep down he is a really good person. He is extremely loyal and will do anything for the people he cares about. I loved that the story was told from a dual POV, being inside Oz’s head really helped me to understand his character better. His relationship with Emily is so perfect. They have undeniable chemistry and tons of sexual tension between them. They don’t really like each other at first, which lead to a great slow burning romance! Oz always treats Emily with respect and the way he flirts with her was so much fun to watch. I loved all the dynamics of their relationship and Oz has easily become a favorite book boyfriend.

Nowhere But Here is an inspirational story filled with emotion, romance, and suspense. From the moment I picked this up I instantly fell in love with everything about it. The characters are developed perfectly and so easy to connect with. The pacing was spot on and there was never a dull moment even though this was almost a 500 page book. I loved the setting of the story and the way McGarry featured motorcycle clubs was unique and interesting. I know that there are plenty of adult books that feature motorcycle clubs, but I don’t know of many YA books that do. The love story was done perfectly, it was a slow burning romance that was very believable. As always McGarry’s writing was amazing, and she really knows how to deliver a meaningful message in an entertaining way. I loved how she addressed friendship, love, loyalty, and family in the story — it made it feel so realistic. I have read most of McGarry’s other works and while I really enjoyed them this is by far my favorite book of hers. Suffice to say, I loved everything about this book and would highly recommend it to all young adult contemporary fans!

Notable Scene:

The girl’s my kind of gorgeous, no question: sexy, beautiful dark hair and eyes like a doe’s. Gotta admit, her curves turned me on and that dress she wore sealed the deal. It clung to her in all the right ways, but what was smoking was the way she wore it. Mysterious. Classy. Never seen anyone from Emily’s world walk up to the Reign of Terror as if they didn’t have a single fear.

But Emily is bad news. She’s been a thorn in this family’s side and has continually caused the people I love to bleed. Her being here will rupture already vulnerable arteries.

Thunder Road Series:

1. Nowhere But Here

2. Walk the Edge (2015)

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FTC Advisory:  Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Nowhere But Here.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

July 1st, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: Cassandra Clare, Fantasy, Holly Black, Magisterium Series, Middle Grade, Review, The Iron Trial

The Iron TrialTitle: The Iron Trial

Author: Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

Genre: MG Fantasy

Series: Magisterium (Book #1)

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

Format: Audio Book, 299 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545522250 (Scholastic)

ISBN-13: 978-0545522250 (Scholastic)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

Quick & Dirty: Extremely entertaining start to what I’m sure is going to be a great series.  It is set in a dark world and brimming with magic, adventure, and fun characters!

Opening Sentence: From a distance, the man struggling up the white face of the glacier might have looked like an ant crawling slowly up the side of a dinner plate.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Callum Hunt has been told his entire life that mages are evil and that if he is ever to attend the Magisterium he will be tortured.  Growing up his father taught that magic is bad and that it’s the reason his mother is dead. But at the age of 12 anyone that possesses magic has to attend the Iron Trials. Most kids would do anything to pass and get into the Magisterium, but Callum wants nothing more than to fail. He does his best to do just that, but unfortunately for him he ends up getting into the Magisterium anyways.

Callum soon discovers that not everything his father taught him was true. Sure there are some interesting things that take place at the Magisterium, but for the most part Callum is really enjoying his time there. For the first time in his life he has true friends and learning magic has been a lot more fun than he expected. But the more Callum learns the more he comes to realize that there is a lot about his past that he doesn’t know and some that he wishes he would have never discovered!

Callum is a really great character that was easy to like. He is a little goofy and totally awkward at times, but I loved that about him. One of the things I liked best is that for the most part he is fairly average so you don’t expect him to do anything extraordinary, but you find yourself rooting for him when he does. The fact that he is just a normal teenager also makes it easier to relate with him. He has the same insecurities that all of us have had at one point or another, and it made him feel so much more realistic.  While he definitely grew in the story he still has a lot of growing up to do, and I am excited to see where his story goes next!

Aaron and Tamara become Callum’s closest friends while at school. Aaron is the nicest person and he is one of those people that everyone likes. He is very talented at pretty much everything, but he isn’t cocky about it in anyway. As his story unfolds you learn to admire him even more because his past isn’t a happy one. Then there is Tamara, she grew up with extremely strict parents that expected a lot. She is very intelligent and driven, but she is also very uptight and snotty at times. At first I didn’t particularly like her, but as the story progresses I came to understand and respect her. The friendship that these three developed was really great and a huge part of the book. They make a wonderful team together, and I can’t wait to go on more adventures with them in the future books.

The Iron Trials is a fun story full of adventure, action, and magic. It has a fantastic dark setting that is unique and very intriguing. The whole cast of characters were fun and interesting to get to know. The pacing was done perfectly and the plot had some great twists that I wasn’t expecting at all. There was great humor laced throughout the book, and there was also tons of suspenseful moments. I did listen to the audio version of this book and I thought that the narrator did a wonderful job. I would highly recommend listening to this if you are a fan of audio books. I personally think that fans of Harry Potter will enjoy this series. The story is completely different, but it has a similar feel to it that just reminded me of HP. I am personally a big fan of both Clare and Black so I was excited when I heard that they were writing a middle grade series together and suffice to say I was not disappointed. I can’t wait to get my hand on the next book to see where they take the story. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a fun middle grade book!

Notable Scene:

“You are about to enter the halls of the Magisterium,” he said. “For some of you, this may be the fulfillment of a dream. For others, we hope it may be the beginning of one. To all of you, I say, the Magisterium exists here for your own safety. You have a great power, and without training, that power is dangerous. Here, we will help you to learn control and teach you about the great history of mages like yourself, dating back through time. Each of you has a unique destiny, one outside the normal path you might have walked, one you will find here. You may have guessed this when you saw the first stirrings of your power. But as you stand at the entrance to the mountain, I imagine at least a few of you are wondering just what you’ve gotten yourselves into.”

Some of the kids laughed self-consciously.

“Long ago, in the very beginning, the first mages wondered much the same thing. Intrigued by the teachings of the alchemists, particularly Paracelsus, they sought to explore elemental magic. They had limited success, until one alchemist realized that his young son was able to easily do the same exercises with which he struggled. The mages discovered that magic could be performed by those with an inborn power and was performed best by the young. After that, the mages found new students to teach and to learn from, seeking all over Europe for children with power. Very few have it, perhaps one in twenty-five thousand, but the mages gathered up those they could and began the first school of magic. Along the way, they heard stories of untrained boys and girls who had set fire to houses and burned in the flames, who had drowned in rainstorms, or had been drawn up into tornados or pulled down into sinkholes. With teaching, the mages learned to walk through lava unscathed, to explore the deepest parts of the sea without an oxygen tank, even to fly.”

Magisterium Series:

1. The Iron Trial

2. The Copper Gauntlet (September 1, 2015)

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FTC Advisory: Scholastic provided me with a copy of The Iron Trial.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Contest Winner: Get Even & Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil

June 30th, 2015 @ 10:00 pm
Posted by Kristie under Contest Winner Tags: Get Dirty, Get Even, Gretchen McNeil

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